In the interview with Switzerland Global Enterprise, Eszter Kovacs, Co-Founder and CEO of DroneTalks, speaks about why she chose Switzerland as a business location, the milestones her business achieved after settling in Switzerland, and how the Swiss drone industry will shape the future of her company.
Can you describe how M&K Global AG is structured and what the company’s main goal is?
M&K Global AG is a Bern-based holding company, with two business units: DroneTalks and Murzilli Consulting.Murzilli Consulting is a team of drone-specialized engineers, program managers and strategists from a range of backgrounds including aerospace, cellular networks, and safety. We work globally with governments, standardisation bodies, start-ups and SMEs to establish strategies for drone service integration into national airspaces before supporting with real-world implementation. Though we are based in Switzerland, we also have subsidiaries in Spain, Germany, Hungary, the United Kingdom and Sweden.
The second business unit is DroneTalks, an online platform created to spread ideas and educate professionals in the drone industry ecosystem. We host senior professionals who share their knowledge on emerging technologies, regulatory changes and insider updates on our content platform.
Our invite-only event, Aerial Cites, brings together the most influential urban environment regulators and C-Level executives to create connections and improve drone operation implementation. On our training platform, we have both online and in-person courses to support various civil aviation authorities and prominent commercial drone organisations to understand and utilize various regulatory frameworks on a global scale. We also own the only drone-specific job portal, DroneTalks Jobs.
What promise did you see in the Swiss drone industry?
I was impressed by the open-mindedness and collaborative nature of the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) and the government bodies in general. My first client was the Swiss government, which instigated our move to Switzerland as it was a priority for me to be located where my most important client is. The country is a central hub for innovation with a big focus on technologies, among which drone technology.
Switzerland Global Enterprise helped us during the location evaluation, and we chose Bern because FOCA and other authorities are based here, which allows easy access to kick-start discussions. I believe Bern is an incredible business location, especially for companies operating in the drone and advanced air mobility industries.
Thanks to Switzerland’s central location, we have been able to hire the best talent across Europe and grow from a one-person operation to an 18-person organization. The Swiss mindset and focus on quality defined our way of working and influenced processes we had to establish and develop. The high standards and requirements in Switzerland have shaped my team’s working morals and drive to achieve the best outcome.
How does being headquartered in Switzerland benefit your business?
Switzerland is a fantastic country when it comes to talent availability. You can hire bilingual talents in French, German and Italian, as well as English speakers. I constantly see new associations support the establishment of global frameworks – it feels like Switzerland is a country where anything is possible. Major aviation events take place in Switzerland, such as the ATM congress in Geneva, which focuses on uncrewed and crewed aviation technology harmonization in the airspace.
What milestones did you achieve since having established in Switzerland?
Thanks to Switzerland’s central location, we have been able to hire the best talent across Europe and grow from a one-person operation to an 18-person organization. The Swiss mindset and focus on quality defined our way of working and influenced processes we had to develop and establish from zero. The high standards and requirements in Switzerland have shaped my team’s working morals and drive to achieve the best outcome.
The Swiss drone industry is incredibly strong and characterized by innovations. Swiss universities are world leaders in the field of robotics, which makes Switzerland the perfect location for hiring top talent.
How will the Swiss drone industry shape your company in the future?
The Swiss drone industry is incredibly strong and characterized by innovations. Swiss universities are world leaders in the field of robotics, which makes Switzerland the perfect location for hiring top talent. There is also a strategic benefit to being based in Switzerland and as we continue to scale as a company, we want the reputation of Swiss reliability to remain one of our core values.
Did you evaluate other countries for your settlement, and what was the deciding factor for Switzerland?
Our first choice was and will always be Switzerland. Swiss reliability is a benefit, especially within fast-moving start-up industries like robotics. Over the last year, we have also opened offices in Madrid and Berlin, both convenient locations for our team as we continue to scale and provide broader services to South America and Germany. However, our headquarters will remain in Switzerland. Swiss neutrality, the geographic benefits and the emphasis on collaboration are a big plus. Bern is an extremely child-friendly and green city. With the Alps just around the corner and a fantastic education system, I believe it is an ideal place for my team, myself and my family. As a leader, it is important for me to ensure that my team is based in a location that allows a good work-life balance, and Switzerland’s quality of life offers just that.
What do you find challenging about Switzerland?
In my experience, Swiss people think twice before they make a decision, so it can take time to get through. However, once the ball starts rolling, they are committed for the long term, so I would say it can also be an advantage. You also need a well-thought-out business plan and strategy to get started. I found that Swiss people prefer security over a gamble.
Our first choice was and will always be Switzerland. Swiss reliability is a benefit, especially within fast-moving start-up industries like robotics.
What do you like about Switzerland?
As mentioned, I find Swiss people are incredibly committed to long-term plans, which makes Switzerland an ideal location to strike up business relationships. The stability of the political and financial economy allows us to focus on our business without being concerned about how external factors may impact us. Switzerland has a well-developed transportation and logistics infrastructure, making it an ideal hub for international trade. And lastly, we’ve been working for governments and military authorities who put a high emphasis on data security. Using Swiss facilities and data centers builds trust and enables us to deepen our relationships with clients.